In the spring, I finally read a book I’ve been meaning to read for a while; The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I have read a few books by him, including a couple graphic novels in the Sandman series and The Graveyard Book, and I’ve loved everything about his style. The subject matter could seem dark if you described it to someone, but when you’re reading it doesn’t seem depressing or sad. It’s suspenseful, wise, and completely gripping, at least for me! The Ocean at the End of the Lane was the same way. It is about a man who finds himself back at his childhood home, and begins to remember a series of fantastic and otherwordly events that he experienced as a child. Although the story qualifies as adventure and fantasy, Gaiman’s observations are profound, as is the symbolism behind the characters the man encounters.
The New York Times commented on the book, saying, “Who we used to be sometimes seems like a faint shadow of who we are now, but Gaiman helps us remember the wonder and terror and powerlessness that owned us as children,” and, “We all know the vulnerability of childhood, when terrors lurked in the dark and bossy, moody adults judged our every move like impossible gods. This novel is at its most powerful and frightening when it exaggerates that defenselessness…”
And, as a plus, the book has a great flow once you get into it and is relatively short, so it would be an easy read for a summer vacation!